Did you ever know that bitter gourd is not really a vegetable but a fruit?
While many of us might condemn its bitter taste, we have not only overlooked its benefits, but also a wide range of possibilities it could offer for overall well-being.
Bitter gourd, also known as the Momordica charantia, is a tropical vine of the gourd family and is closely related to squash, cucumber and pumpkins.
Though it is used in a diverse variety of dishes and beverages, ‘The Bitter gourd juice’, also dubbed as ‘Karela juice’ is one of the most nutritious extracts of the bitter melon.
Here is everything you need to know about Karela juice and its benefits:
What is Karela Juice?
Karela juice is made out of blended extract of raw bitter gourd mixed with water. The juice has a sharp bitter taste, and is usually concocted from any of the two types of bitter gourd available in the market.
This simple blend of bitter melon with water is usually spiked with a dash of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to make it more delicious and palatable.
Packed with several important nutrients, with minimal to zero carbs and calories, it’s a great source of Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C.
Benefits of Karela Juice
A blend of 93 grams of raw bitter melon with water helps meet around 4% of Vitamin-A, 2.6 gm of fiber, 17% of folate, 10% of Zinc, and 95% of Vitamin C of the total Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of nutrients.
Karela Juice provides ample amounts of antioxidants that play a vital role in contributing to over all physical wellbeing by promoting immunity, brain health and tissue healing.
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Here are some health benefits you can derive from this blend!
1. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies have shown that Karela juice helps in managing blood sugar levels. The blend contains rich components that have shown to have glucose lowering properties like charantin, vicine and polpeptide.
Polupiptide-p functions in a manner similar to that of insulin, an important hormone that regulates the blood sugar levels in the body. These properties help in facilitating the absorption of sugar from blood into cells and tissues.
Several other compounds in Karela juice may help protect and also regenerate cells in the pancreas, the organ which is responsible for release of insulin.
2. Combats Cancer
The blend has a rich composition of anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight certain kinds of cancers. The juice also boosts immunity and prevents allergies and infections that keep troubling cancer patients.
These properties work against cancer cell proliferation and stop the formation of tumors.
Researchers have observed significant reduction in the prevalence of breast, colon and prostate cancer in people who regularly consumed bitter gourd juice.
3. Reduces cholesterol and helps in weight loss
In 2010’s issue published by the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was disclosed that extracts of bitter gourd help in dislocation of human fat cells and also hinders the growth and formation of new fat cells.
The study also suggested that bitter gourd can be viewed as a natural agent to treat obesity. The juice contains fiber rich properties that stop the formation and growth of adipose cells, whose main function is to store fats in the body.
Karela juice improves metabolism, and the antioxidants present in it help in detoxifying the body. This helps in reduction of fat.
Further, its anti-inflammatory properties also help in lowering bad cholesterol, thereby reducing risk of diseases like heart strokes and high blood pressure.
4. Cleanses liver and cures hangover
Bitter gourd detoxifies liver and enhances the functioning of liver enzymes that help rid the system of alcohol deposits. You can swiftly get rid of intoxication by drinking a glass of Karela juice after over consumption of alcohol.
In take of Karela juice also helps in healthy bowel moment by promoting anti-oxidant activity and is considered highly beneficial for intestinal and bladder health.
5. Purifies Blood and improves circulation
Karela has high amounts of antioxidants which help eliminate toxins in blood. Regular consumption of bitter gourd leads to purification of blood and releases anti-inflammatory enzymes in the blood stream to improve blood circulation.
These anti-microbial properties also help in preventing infections and guru the possibility of blood disorders from cropping up. Efficient blood circulation also cures skin diseases like acne, eczema, hives and boils.
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Other benefits of Karela Juice include:
- Powerful antiviral properties
- Helps release healthy bile acids
- Improves skin texture and prevents skin problems like acne, rashes and blemishes
- Contributes to healthy bowel movement.
- Improves vision
- Cures asthma and improves lung health
How To Prepare Karela Juice:
All you need is a bitter melon, a blender and some water to make Karela juice at home. Avoiding raw bitter melons and selecting those with orange or red seeds will help you avoid the harsh flavor in the juice.
To help the bitter taste, you can soak bitter gourd in salted water for about 30 minutes before blending it.
Blend the chopped bitter gourd with a cup of water, strain the mixture and dilute it with half more cup of water.
Adding some drops of lemon juice will not only make the taste better, but will also add to its nutrient efficiency.
How To Consume:
There are immense benefits if one can make this juice a part of their daily diet. Nevertheless, it is suggested to start the day by drinking this juice as your body is better able to extract its benefits in the morning.
This not only helps digestion but also serves as a health tonic to source antioxidant compounds to the body.
Those who struggle to consume the juice because of its bitter taste can start sipping small amounts until they get used to the unappealing flavour.
- Drinking too much of Karela juice may be harmful. Hence, consumption must be consistent and limited. There is a limit on how much the digestive system allows you to consume.
- People taking medication for diabetes are suggested to consult a doctor before beginning to consume on a daily basis as it affects blood sugar levels.
- Lastly, bitter melon extract may have an impact on endocrine system which regulates hormones and reproductive health. Hence, menstruating and pregnant women are also suggested to seek expert advice before thinking of consuming Karela juice.